Human beings are emotional beings. No matter what role you are in, the art of persuasion appeals to three main areas –
Your tone, body language, facial expressions and words matter.
Logos: the logic that you use to support a claim (induction and deduction); any form of evidence that helps you appeal to the rational sense of your audience.
Pathos: the emotional or motivational appeal and herein too, the way you communicate is important.
Three weeks back, a dress that I liked, was on sale in one of the reputed stores and I decided to place the order on-line. When I logged in, I got a message that the size I was looking for was out of stock. I decided to avail of the wait list option that was offered to me. Within 4-5 days, I got an email notification that the wait list item was available and I need to place an order soon. It so happened that the item was still available and I placed the order. I got a confirmation that the order was received and I would get a notification as soon as the order was shipped. Two days later, I receive an email that the order was cancelled and no reason was given. All the email stated was, order cancelled and If you want reply or call. My experience calling their customer service, in the past, has not been pleasant and so I decided to email them requesting them to give me a reason as to why the order was cancelled. The email response was strange, in that they responded saying, sorry place the order again, we could not read your credit card no. To me the content of this response and the tone used was one of “no care”. I had not entered the credit card no with my hand to be told that they could not read it. If it was their system issue that somehow they had lost the credit card no, it was not my fault. Despite all this, this renowned store and one of the biggest and oldest stores in the US, that has an on-line facility, did not apologize and worse, dictated to me that I place the order again.
A relationship with a customer is built, when you can map the journey of your customer through notably, the rational side of the experience and also make it emotionally engaging in a way that it addresses their need and drives value for them. Value is driven from the time the customer or potential customer starts their journey either with exploring your website, entering your shop, speaking to your customer service, sales or marketing, or any other form of contact, that they have with your company. And it does not necessarily end with the goods or services delivered to them.
Why do representatives of organizations, big or small, forget that shopping for anything or dealing with banks or credit cards or any other type of service needs to be “An Experience”? You and your organization need to build an emotionally engaging experience that drives customer loyalty and customer retention.
This is imperative, for you to understand how you can manage the emotions of your customers in order to create an enjoyable experience for them. The journey is not solely about the touch points of interaction but the entire experience.
When you book a table at a restaurant, the experience includes the way they handle your booking, the way you are greeted at the restaurant, how efficiently and courteously they take you to your table, how soon do they make you feel comfortable by way of their ambience, the way the waiter/waitress speak with you, how soon do they get the menu, how well they explain the dishes, where required, how they take care of the little things that matter, the quality of the dishes, the hygiene level, the waiting time for your order and the checkout process. If you have had a good experience the first time, you will go there repeatedly, as long as the experience continues consistently. It is the same, no matter, whether it is calling your bank, dealing with your broker, buying a house, dealing with your private banker, shopping on-line or on-line subscription to a journal or blog.
Dealing with an organization should not increase stress and anxiety and when it does, the emotional experience leaves a bad taste and the organization loses its value in the customer’s eye.
How do you create an Emotionally Engaging Experience for your customer?
1. Are you listening to your customers ?
Listening to your customers, from an emotional and rational perspective for business as usual, for your innovate ideas, for the complaints and the not too pleasant experience that your customer faces, is at the heart of creating a customer-centric culture.
2.Are you looking at the customer’s journey from an emotional perspective?
We enjoy movies with a good story and direction and more importantly those with good actors and actress. The story is taken to a deeper level when the actor or actress plays the role in a way that you get so involved in the character of that story.
Marlon Brando, Al Pacino, Robert De Niro, Jack Nicholson and Dustin Hoffman are just a few famous names and are now possibly the most famous advocates of getting into character by living and breathing every nuance of the world they inhabit.
Hoffman, a method actor by trade, got so prepared for the character he played in Marathon Man, that he lost 15 pounds after running up to four miles a day to get in shape for the demanding role. Legendary Producer Robert Evans claimed that Hoffman would never come into a scene faking the heavy breathing required, and that he would simply run half a mile right before director John Schlesinger yelled ‘action’ to make the scene more believable.
No better way to get and create the emotional experience that a customer gets while dealing with your organization than putting yourself in the shoes of your customer. Visualize how your customer would want the experience to be and map out the behaviors necessary to enable this.
3.How Are You Honoring Your Client’s Perspective?
Your opinions and views don’t matter when you deal with a client. Rational and logic may be useful and understanding a client from an emotional perspective will go a long way to keep a client fulfilled. Even if you don’t always agree with your client, it’s important to respect their perspective and needs. By understanding your client and their perspective, you establish the trust and make it a memorable experience for the client.
4.Are you hiring the right people?
Who are your hiring to create a valuable and customer-centric culture in your organization? What are their values ? Does it match with the overall vision and purpose of the organization? Your employees are the source to create a rich experience for the clients who deal with your organization.
They will focus on doing the right things including creating an experience of dealing with your organization enriching.
5.Do you ask relevant questions ?
Having an empathetic ear to issues that your client faces is one of the best ways to create a long-term relationship with the client. Watch your tone of voice or tone of the email, body language and the words you choose during your interaction. By asking questions such as how may I help you? What is one thing you would like me to do to rectify the situation?, you show empathy and humanity.
Be open, yet circumspect, because this enables you to be in the moment, to ask relevant questions, establish trust and allows the other person to open up. Being over smart never helps because that is going to aggravate your customer and worsen the relationship.
To create a memorable journey for a customer, observe and listen for cues on what do your customers expect from dealing with your organization’s product and services, what would you expect if you were a customer of your products and services, how others want to interact. Adapt your communication style and this applies to every part of the organization, irrespective of customer facing or not, to what your customer may want.
One of my yoga instructors recently remarked that Yoga is not something to get over and done with. It is an experience, an experience of growing strong, breathing and being present in the moment and this has to come from within. Coming from within is something each of are responsible for and the journey is made more pleasant by the instructor’s way of instructing, the rhythm and flow of the class and poses which enables you to breathe, even in your most challenging moment. In the same way, when you are delivering a product or service, no matter the industry, make it a memorable experience and journey for your customer because we are emotional beings and you will drive value for your clients.
From My Professional Experience to Your Success, please contact me for one-on-one coaching, training, group coaching, facilitation, speaking and workshops.